Gary Zacher

OCOA & MNR Officer of the Year 2008

Ontario Conservation Officer Gary Zacher
Aylmer Enforcement Unit

The Ontario Conservation Officers Association (OCOA) is pleased to announce that Gary Zacher was presented with a number of awards as the 2008 Ontario Conservation Officer of the Year. The presentations were at the OCOA convention held at Parry Sound on August 15-16, 2008. Gary works for the Aylmer Enforcement Unit.

Gary was presented with the OCOA Officer of the Year award at the annual banquet on Saturday night. “Gary has been an outstanding Conservation Officer for years, developing innovative approaches to newer enforcement initiatives in areas such as aggregates and species at risk. In addition to his exemplary work as an officer, Gary has supported our CO Association, helping with annual conventions and our Kids and Wardens Fishing Adventure,” said Dan VanExan, President of the Ontario Conservation Officers Association.

Gary has been a Conservation Officer for 36 years in Aylmer District; currently working as the Intelligence and Investigations Officer. Some of the highlights of his career include:

  • A number of significant waterfowl cases which resulted in policy changes for baiting permits;
  • Several extensive aggregate investigations;
  • Through the assistance of other officers, reduced the occurrence of night hunting in Elgin County almost to non existence;
  • Several Species at Risk investigations;
  • Approximately 25 special investigations, across the Province;
  • For 6 years worked with new Canadians to help understand fish and wildlife laws.

In addition, on Friday, Gary also received the Ministry of Natural Resources (MNR) Officer of the Year award from Natural Resources Minster Donna Cansfield. Also in attendance at the awards on Friday was Lois Deacon, Director of Enforcement Branch who presented Officer Zacher with a certificate toward funding some specialized training.

Gary was nominated for the awards by one of his peers. The selection was done a committee comprised of both representatives of the OCOA and staff from MNR’s Enforcement Branch.

Conservation Officer Gary Zacher also received the Shikar-Safari Club International Wildlife Officer of the Year award and the Midwest Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies (part of the International Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies) Officer of the Year Award.

For More Information:

Dan VanExan, Ontario Conservation Officers Association, 613-478-6132
David Bauer, Minister’s Office, 416-314-2212
Jolanta Kowalski, Communications Services Branch, 416-314-2106